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Page 13 text:
er's pride and joy. I-le showed no traces of his Indian blood save in his big, black
eyes, and his black hair- As she looked, a sharp pain clutched the mother's heart,
and she turned abruptly into the cabin.
It was a dark cold night. The air was white with falling snow. The thunder
rumbled loudly, and the lightning flashed incessantly. A wild night for a drive,
yet apparently some one was going on a journey- A covered wagon drew up be-
fore George Hasking's cabin. A Figure muffled in furs carrying a bundle covered
in like manner, stepped into the vehicle and was whirled away into the night.
It was very dark in the cabin--very dark, and cold, and silent. Suddenly came
a low moan, and then a slight movement, as if someone were searching for some-
one. Later a light gleamed forth in the darkness. Then a sobbing terrified cry
rang out. That was all. A moment later the light disappeared and a figure
stepped out into the storm, and crept stealthily toward the stables- A soft whin-
ney of a horse, a low muttered command,-and a horse and rider appeared, and
faded wraith-like, into the night.
Two days had passed, when a tired traveller applied for shelter at the little
village of Arcata. Shortly after his arrival, a horse and rider swept into the town,
and made their way, through the mist and rain, to an Indian village on the out-
Again it was night. and still it was dark and cold, and an unusual thing for
Arcata, a heavy snow was falling. About ten o'clock, when all places, save the
lighted saloons, were dark, a Hgure clad in Indian garments made its way to a
home where the hanging latch law prevailed, noiselessly opened the door, and en-
tered the cabin. It did not stay long, but soon emerged, carrying a bundle en-
veloped in furs. After satisfying itself that it was unobserved, it made its way
softly down the street, and fled swiftly away toward the forest.
The next morning a great hue and cry was raised. A white child had been
stolen during the night. The village was in the wildest state of excitement.
Search parties were organized, and every available man joined them. But no
trace could be found. The soft, moccasined feet of the midnight intruder had left
Meanwhile, in the heart of the snow-covered forest. an Indian maid. clasping a
child close to her breast, was struggling on. For hours she had tramped through
the snow. At first-Ah! how bitter had been the cold,-but now. a drowsy
numbness, a strange, sweet warmth was stealing over her. How soft and warm
the snow was-a white bed, inviting and tempting! NVhy should she not lie down
and rest, and then continue her journey? Surely she was far enough into the
forest to elude all possible pursuers! She would lie down and rest, and--
The benumbed brain awoke, and with a low sob of horror. she elapsed the child
close and struggled on. How very tired she was. She could gn no further. Surely
it would not matter if she sat down. just for one little minute. She would not go
Page 12 text:
GEORGE HASKINGS, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER
I ln Seven Pictures
The golden October sun was shining warmly down on the dry land. The per-
fume of tlowersand the scented breath of the forest lilled the air. For it was
Indian summer in Humboldt, rich mellow beautiful Indian summer, and all the
country was in its gala attire.
A little schooner, fresh from its long voyage over the ocean, was moored at
its dock at the Eureka Wharf, and was discharging passengers and cargo. Among
the people crowding down the gang-plank was a tall well-built fellow, who had
seen perhaps, some thirty summers. His clean-shaven well-cut face would have
been attractive, had it not been for the eyes, which were very small and close-set,
and were shaded by remarkably heavy eye-brows.
He apparently was one of the few who had planned his distination beforehand,
for without hesitation he made his way to a waiting buckboard and deposited his
luggage. ,He -stood a while eying the passing crowd with shifty glances- Then
he seated himself, spoke a few sharp words to his Indian driver, and was whirled
away down the dusty road.
Far up the coast in Northern Humboldt, the little Indian village of W'illiamatc
was nestled. On a warm sultry afternoon an Indian maiden was seated before
her Wigwam, weaving baskets. Winona the Winsome was she, the belle of Wil-
liamate. Her heavy dark braids bound with beads hung over her shoulders. Her
dark eyes were intent on her work. Her tiny moccasined feet peeped from be-
neath the beaded fringe of her garment, and her slender brown hands worked
busily among the willow twigs.
Very still it Was,-not a sound, save the droning of the bees, and the chirp of
the crickets. Suddenly Winona ceased working and appeared to be listening in-
tently. Then, in the distance, the sharp clatter of horses hoofs rang out, and a
moment later a buckboard white with dust, drew up at her side. The Indian driver
spoke a few gutteral words to her. She answered in clear even tones, though her
brown cheeks flushed uncomfortably, and her heart beat unusually fast, at the
shifty but admiring gaze of the white stranger. -
Such was the first meeting of George Haskings, gentleman adventurer, and
Winona the Winsome, Belle of Williamate.
Another golden Indian summer had lied, and winter was at hand. For one long,
happy year Winona had been the wife of George Haskings. But within the last
few weeks a strange, undefinable pain. a gnawing elusive something had crept
into her heart, caused, as she instinctively knew, by the fact that she and her hus-
band were growing further apart. Was the gentleman adventurer tiring of the
simple Indian maid?
Almost unconsciously her gaze wandered to her child, Little George-his fath-
Page 14 text:
A big snow-covered log loomed up before her, offering a resting-place at its
side. With a tired sigh she sank into the wsnow, clasping the child close, as though
she would impart to it the warmth of her body. The babe awoke, stroked its
mother's face tenderly with its tiny hand, and settled back into its nest.
They found 'them there, half covered by fallen snow, the babe clasped close in
the mother's arms, its tiny blue lips close against her cheek.
One man in the party, choking back a sob, turned abruptly away. He alone
could have explained the tragedy, but he did not.
Blindly he made his way back to Arcata. And the next day George Haskings,
gentleman adventurer, left for parts unknown.
AN INDIAN TRAGEDY
On the brow of the Trinity a man stood solhouetted against the western skyg
a tall bronze figure, lithe and muscular, glistening with oil and paint, and be-
decked with beads. ln one hand he held a repeating rifle. The other was tightly
clenched by his side. His strong brown face was seared with pain. His eyes.
brightly alert, held at times a look pathetic in its sadness. but oftener they gleamed
with a baleful fire.
For Walama, chief of the Chocatins. outcast and fugitive, had at last reached
the end of his rope. And he realized the fact.
His enemies the Pale-faces, guided by Indian spies, were surrounding him.
He could flee no further. Before him raged a majestic mountain torrent, which
fell a frothing, foaming mass, sheer down over the edge of the precipice. Behind
him, unseen but seeing,'crouched his pursuers.
Walania experienced no fear as he stood there, straight and silent-a fine target
for any rifleman. He knew that they were trying to capture him alive-that they
might the better torment and persecute him. He would not be shot but as a
last resort. '
Deep down in his heart a plan formed. which soon became a fixed resolve.
Strong and brave, death held no fear for him. 'The thought of it caused neither
heart nor pulse to beat the faster.
Dispassionately, he reviewed the past. Scarcely a week ago, young, hopeful,
the idol of his people, he had been happy. But now-
His quick ears detected the crackling of brush a short distance away. But
he did not move. Again came the crackling of a twig, this time nearer.
Walama with a quick gesture threw his arms toward heaven. Then, still tight-
ly grasping his rifle, with a war-cry whose martial strains echoed over the moun-
tains, he plunged headlong into the torrent.
A cry of surprise and horror broke from his pursuers. With one accord they
rushed to the precipice. Nothing could be seen. The turbulent stream, gleaming
and flashing in the sun's rays, rushed onward. Once, far down below, a black
speck appeared for a moment, but it quickly disappeared- The deep roar of
falling water, like a solemn requiem alone broke the silence.
Walama, Chief of the Chocatins, had been gathered home to his fathers.
' VERNA HANSON.
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